The Georgia men’s golf team ended its season in 17th place Sunday at the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Georgia’s lineup of fifth-year golfer Spencer Ralston, senior Davis Thompson, juniors Trent Phillips and Eli Scott and sophomore Connor Creasy recorded a 33-over 873 in three rounds of play.
Despite strong performances by Thompson and Phillips, who shot a 3-over 283 and a 4-over 284, respectively, the Bulldogs failed to make the top-15 cut on Sunday, finishing just one stroke behind Georgia Tech and TCU.
The Bulldogs handled Grayhawk Golf Club’s par-70, 7,289-yard layout admirably despite unfamiliar environmental conditions. The arid desert climate presented a challenge to many of the Georgia players, who have far more experience golfing in southeastern humidity.
“None of us have played much desert golf. The ball is going a little bit further. … I feel like a lot of us have hit it long on a lot of shots,” Ralston said. “[The dry heat] will wear you out fast. The past two days we’ve been really exhausted late in the evening.”
To counter this potential issue, the Bulldogs prioritized hydration days in advance of their first tee time just after 3:45 p.m. Friday. They also brought a TrackMan device, which uses radar to track balls in flight, from Athens to calibrate shot distances during their Thursday morning practice round.
Although the results were certainly disappointing for a squad with national title aspirations, head coach Chris Haack chose to focus on the positive takeaways from the 2020-21 season.
“[The team] gave us everything we asked of them and more,” he said. “They were tremendous representatives of our school and our sport, and I’m proud of everything they did on and off the course this season.”
This was the last collegiate appearance for Thompson, who was named a First-Team All-American for the second consecutive season, as well as fifth-year golfer Spencer Ralston, who appeared in 51 tournaments in 52 opportunities since his freshman season. Thompson intends to turn professional following the end of his illustrious college career.